Local Wire

Low

Dateline Duluth, Minnesota -- On Tuesday, a Minnesota district court judge threw out a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by 37-year-old Duluth native Brian Swerzyk against the indie rock trio Low and its label, Sub Pop Records. Swerzyk had claimed breach of contract and severe emotional distress after purchasing the band's 2005 album, The Great Destroyer, and discovering it contained a number of songs that featured, according to his suit, "Complex arrangements and upsettingly high levels of guitar distortion -- no doubt encouraged by grunge-obsessed executives at Sub Pop -- which violate the minimalist, slo-core covenant that Low principals Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and Zak Sally established with fans like myself over the previous decade." In dismissing the legal action, Judge Irene Flingenhofer cited the precedent set by Dylan v. Newport Jazz Festival (1965), and stated in her ruling: "While Low's The Great Destroyer is, overall, louder than the band's prior recordings, it is hardly 'grunge metal,' nor are the trio's famously quiet passages completely eradicated. Additionally, 'California' rocked my socks off, and you, Brian Swerzyk, are an idiot."
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Michael Alan Goldberg